The Sino-Singapore Tianjin Ecocity (SSTEC) is a large-scale pilot project, trialling innovative approaches in sustainable urban development. To implement its objectives, the SSTEC has been developed as a central element in a matrix of networked institutional relationships. This paper examines the functioning of these institutional interactions, through examination of the development of renewable energy-related initiatives. The salient elements of these interactions relate to consultation and information flows. This is intended to facilitate an empirically based experimental approach to project planning, implementation and review, in terms of the integration of research and implementation experience. Institutional and regulatory development at the SSTEC is evaluated in the context of other Chinese low-carbon cities and other localised initiatives such as Green Counties and New Energy Demonstration Cities. This evaluation draws on interviews with senior staff members at the SSTEC, and in specialist Chinese renewable energy institutions, as well as scholarly and other literature. While substantial implementation challenges face the SSTEC and other large-scale projects, they are likely to play an instrumental role in scaling-up technologically and financially effective low-carbon solutions in Chinese urban development. Some inefficiencies and failures are to be expected in any experimental approach. These can be put to effective use through an empirical approach to determining best institutional and regulatory practice, in terms of realising China’s low-carbon model of sustainable urban development.
development, experimental, institutions, low-carbon, regulation, renewable energy, sustain- able, Tianjin Eco-city, urban
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